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Hormone therapy (HT) increases your levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. This will help reduce symptoms of menopause. HT may also help prevent osteoporosis in some women. But HT may increase risk for certain conditions, including heart disease and stroke.
To get the best results, always take your hormones exactly as directed. Hormones can be taken in any of these ways:
Pills containing estrogen, and sometimes other hormones, are taken as often as every day. This is the most common form of hormone therapy.
A skin patch releases estrogen into the bloodstream. The patch can be worn on your hip. Most patches are changed once or twice a week.
Cream used inside the vagina releases estrogen into the bloodstream. The cream may be used daily.
Have regular visits with a healthcare provider. These visits are a way to fine-tune your therapy. You can also be checked for any problems that might require you to stop HT.
Unexpected, long-lasting, or heavy bleeding
A breast lump, or breast tenderness that doesn’t go away
Unexpected vaginal discharge
Aching muscles in your back or legs
Sudden pain in your legs or chest
Shortness of breath